Imagine waking up one morning unable to see, with no idea why. That’s exactly what happened to OLMA freshmen, Morgan Kenny, when she was 13 years old.
“For an entire year, my mom and I traveled across the country visiting doctor after doctor getting a different diagnosis from each one,” said Morgan. “None of them were correct and my condition got worse as I started to have very serious panic attacks. Before this happened, I was involved in sports, theater, voice, and dabbled in pageants. I even performed on Broadway, and had to stop everything. I also lost a year of school.”
At last, the Kennys found a doctor who saw something the others had not. It turned out that Morgan had a fall during a gymnastics practice six or so weeks before she lost her sight. “I fell and hit my head, but was fine,” she said. “In gymnastics, you fall all the time. I felt fine and perfectly normal, until I woke up unable to see. No one, not even my mom and I, connected the fall with my condition until we saw Dr. Vincent Vicci. What we thought was a simple fall, turned out to be a type of Traumatic Brain Injury that doesn’t show any symptoms right away.”
While her recovery involved surgery, special eye wear and many visits to doctors and physical therapists, Morgan is working her way back — and shining every step of the way. While her injury hasn’t allowed her to return to some of her former activities, Morgan found her niche in the world of pageantry. She recently retired her title of USA National Miss Garden State Jr. Teen 2017, and was just crowned Miss Delaware High School America 2018. In June, she will advance to the National Competition to be held in Little Rock, Arkansas. These pageants are part of the Miss High School America Pageant Organization. In Morgan’s case, she qualified to compete in Delaware even though she resides outside the state and attends OLMA.
In her new role, Morgan will spend the next year promoting her platform — Navigating the Neurotic Tunnel. She will be doing everything possible to increase the awareness of Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) and the need to more easily diagnose them. “My ultimate goal is to educate people about TBI and raise enough funds to begin improving the diagnostic equipment currently available in doctor’s offices and hospitals. After being misdiagnosed so many times, I want to help make sure that others don’t have to go through what I did.”
Morgan joined OLMA in September after relocating to South Jersey. She is thriving in every way and is a regular contributor to the life of our school. We are proud of you, Morgan, and look forward to supporting you — and your platform — in the years ahead. Congratulations!